LJWorld.com weblogs At Whit's End

LJWorld.com top stories for Monday, May 9


This morning I decided to start a new feature on my blog. Every weekday, I'll post the top five stories from the previous day. Then, in the afternoon before I head home, I'll try to update the post with the top stories from that day so far.

I'll also include links to the items that have received the most comments in the past 24 hours. Often times the two lists only share an item or two, which surprises a lot of people.

It's an experiment, and feedback is always welcome. These statistics are something I look at every morning, and they help me understand what stories and discussions pique the interest of our online community. I hope it helps you do the same. So here we go:

Top LJWorld.com stories from Monday, May 9

  1. Lawrence native helps subdue unruly airline passenger
  2. KU police investigate battery early Sunday morning at McCollum Hall
  3. Town Talk: A look into the world of city fees; event would make Mass. Street parking free for a day; Bob Billings Parkway set for major construction
  4. Remains of Neosho Rapids boy, 11, killed in December 2010 boating accident found near John Redmond Reservoir
  5. First Bell: Tonight, school board members to consider athletics upgrades for LHS, learn about a ‘District Improvement Plan,’ and meet in executive session on personnel matters

Most commented items

  1. Natural Grocers to open in Lawrence on 23rd Street and Naismith Drive
  2. On the Street: How often do you buy organic groceries?
  3. Shop Talk Blog: Home Depot floored me with their lack of knowledge
  4. Lawrence native helps subdue unruly airline passenger
  5. Firebirds dominate LHS in baseball

4:40 p.m. update

As promised, here are the most-viewed stories on LJWorld.com so far today:

  1. Natural Grocers to open in Lawrence on 23rd Street and Naismith Drive
  2. Two people die Tuesday morning in two-vehicle accident on northwest side of Perry Lake
  3. Mark Mangino breaks silence in newspaper interview
  4. Town Talk: Have a downtown drink; arts incubator idea still alive; West Lawrence antennas to get approval; oil company increases Lawrence presence; Hobbs Taylor gets new tenant
  5. Former associate athletics director Ben Kirtland seeks 57 months in prison


autie 6 years, 3 months ago

Is we gonna read the same stories twiced now? I guess I don't understand the desired outcome. In other words, "do what"?

wmathews 6 years, 3 months ago

You don't have to read them twice, and we won't publish the same stories twice.

It's simply a set of information that I find interesting for many reasons, and thought you might find interesting, too. The top stories list keeps me updated on what specific stories our online community was interested in that day, while the most commented items list indicates the most active discussions. It's similar to the top stories piece we did at the end of 2010, but abbreviated and more frequent: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/dec...

wmathews 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions! First, I'll address search engine issues on the site. We know the search engine isn't as great as it could be. Search is a difficult thing to build and perfect, and we definitely have plans to improve search in the future. If you can't find what you're looking for via the website search, go to Google and type in your keywords followed by "ljworld." It's a trick I use, too. I'd rather have you use Google to find exactly what you're looking for than get frustrated and give up. You can always email me for help, too, at wmathews@ljworld.com

In terms of story duplication, what you're talking about is a little different than publishing the same story twice. When we upload different pieces of content into the CMS, each one is an individual object with different abilities and URLs. You can comment on almost all of those objects. Usually we combine these elements in a text story, but sometimes they stand on their own, too. That's why you'll see a poll or OTS related to something in today's news that is separate from a story. If I'm doing my job, those elements get added to the related story AND end up in their regular slots. Many of those objects contain links to the stories in which they are embedded. This one example: http://www2.ljworld.com/videos/2011/m...

When I remember, I add links to previous, related stories in the text of new stories. It's a bit tedious, which is why it may take a few minutes to add the links, but that doesn't mean we can't do a better job. I'll definitely try to increase linkage in stories that have past information.

wmathews 6 years, 3 months ago

It would likely be a list of OTS after OTS...

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 3 months ago

Whit: So how do you define the "top-5" stories?


Is that now how your newspaper now defines its "top" stories?

Has the LJW now really crossed that line?

wmathews 6 years, 3 months ago

For the purposes of this post, I define top stories on a daily basis purely by pageviews in Google Analytics. So you could call them the "top stories," "most viewed stories," "most popular stories" or "most clicked on stories." Any of those titles would be accurate to me. It's just a list of data from the previous day, and I'm sharing it with you.

If you're referring to "top stories" as the lead stories that I put in the main spot on the homepage (usually a big headline with a photo or video), there are a lot of factors I consider when picking those. Sometimes the popularity of previous similar stories is part of the decision, and sometimes it isn't. Often the lead stories on the website correspond to the 1A stories in the paper, but sometimes they don't. Sometimes I change them when I get into the office because I have a better idea and sometimes I have to change them on the fly when we have breaking news. I look for things that have valuable information for our online community that also fit the technical needs our CMS has for a lead story.

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

Whitney can do no wrong. She is a Goddess. Just ask Hollis. . . Whitney, will blogs that get high numbers of hits make it to your list(s)?

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

Oops, looks like I need to read your blog a little closer . . .

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

If ever there was a need for the return of "Statguys" . . .


Boston_Corbett 6 years, 3 months ago

GAWKER.COM is famous for being able to dynamically track minute-by-minute which articles about titillating news are more popular than another. And their reportage is then controlled by such feedback.

Is this good?

Traditional news sources of real independent analysis have not done this. As a national paper of record, the New York Times is one of those. Some other local papers have not succumbed. But their numbers are declining.

Two years ago, over 50,000 journalists lost their jobs. Makes you wonder why we even have a School of Journalism anymore at KU.

Unfortunately, the same market forces which have shifted many of us to purchasing from online sources have affected far more than Borders, and the Bay-Leaf.

I grieve for the newspapers and reportage of 20 years ago.

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 3 months ago

I like Whitney. She is wonderful. And she is paid far too little.

But what she probably realizes, is that the LJW of today, is produced with far too-fewer highly qualified journalists.

Lets have a frank discussion here of the hundreds of people who lost jobs in the last few years....partially on the LJW side of things, and as the Broadband side got slimmed up for purchase by Knology.

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

Especially if followed by the sound of rapid paddling (oaring) . . .

Stat_Guys 6 years, 3 months ago

Hello Whitney, looks like they are bugs in your jar as well. How things have changed now that Mt. Mar..arigold blew his vesuvius. Many disappearededings haunt your halls and threads. Enjoy what are remaining of the comments. http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/you-a... And for the "records", Whitney dances to Hit me Baby One More Time. Sincerely, Stat_Guys

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

Whoa . . . made it through about half the original S_G's blog, much missing from the disapearededed's but I'm not gonna be the one to resurrect it by posting on it . .this time . . yet.

RoeDapple 6 years, 3 months ago

"Bud_Insky (anonymous) says… Purging the forum of most conservatives seems to have left a little too much time on someone's hands."

Not even close yet Bud. If it were who would you all be arguing with?


Commenting has been disabled for this item.